The NGOs behind a citizens' initiative calling for saving bees said their fight was "
far from over
" after the European Commission responded to them on Wednesday by simply referring to the bills already under negotiation.
Launched in 2019 with the support of NGOs, the European citizens' initiative "Save the Bees" had collected more than one million signatures across the EU by October 2021.
Required to provide an answer, the European Commission explained that bills are already being negotiated to better protect pollinators.
She called on States and MEPs to find “
rapid and ambitious agreements
” on these legislative projects, the outcome of which remains uncertain, without putting forward new proposals.
In order to halt the decline of bees, the petition notably called for "
legal acts to phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035
" and restore the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes.
Since 2019, "
the Commission has taken major initiatives
", and "
rather than proposing new legislative acts, the priority is for the co-legislators to find rapid agreements on the proposals on the table
", said a spokesperson on Wednesday. word of the European executive, pointing to two texts discussed between the Member States and in the European Parliament.
The first aims to halve the use and risks of chemical or hazardous pesticides by 2030, compared to the 2015-2017 period.
The project is arousing resistance from some of the States, which at the end of December demanded new impact studies, delaying the discussions.
The second would impose on each State objectives for the restoration of ecosystems damaged by pollution or intensive exploitation.
The text divides the Twenty-Seven, supposed to agree in June on their position before negotiating with MEPs.
Time is running out for the adoption of the two texts before the European elections of 2024.
It's far from over
", reacted in a joint press release the NGOs organizing the initiative for bees (PAN-Europe, Global2000, Slow Food...), calling "for more
ambition from Parliament European and of the States
Without biodiversity, there is no agriculture.
The Commission is aware of this and has presented major legislative proposals (...) Its proposals deserve more ambition: instead, some MEPs and many States prefer to listen to the lobby of pesticide producers and delay the process decision-making
,” they lamented.
We will follow the follow-up closely.
The citizens' initiative is more than simple signatures, it is an active involvement in the process
”, insisted Martin Dermine, of the NGO network PAN-Europe.
While insects ensure the reproduction of 80% of cultivated varieties, one in three species of bees, hoverflies and butterflies is in decline in the EU.